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DVD review: 'Six Feet Under: The Complete Fourth Season'

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'Six Feet Under: The Complete Fourth Season'

Rating:
Star4
Star
Star
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After seeing the first three seasons years ago and being sidetracked by other tempting shows/movies, this examiner decided to resume his quest to finish 'Six Feet Under.'

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This brings us to the fourth season.

If you're new to the show, reading further would be a disservice to yourself.

Nate (Peter Krause) can barely function with the death of his wife Lisa (Lily Taylor) fresh in his memory. He has to raise their child Maya, all by himself and can no longer stand to work in the funeral home. This puts a lot of pressure on David (Michael C. Hall) who already has a lot of his plate, not to mention his strained relationship with Keith (Matthew St. Patrick). Rico (Freddy Rodriguez), now a full partner in the business, steps up and takes on even more work, but his personal life is about to hit a few speed bumps of its own. Claire (Lauren Ambrose) experiences growing pains with her art and bad-seed peers at college. Ruth (Frances Conroy) has settled into married life with George (James Cromwell), but it turns out that they are a little less compatible than she thought. Brenda (Rachel Griffiths) tries to move on from Nate, but her mental issues and bad habits keep setting her back.

A distinguishing characteristic of this show that inspired many other shows was the frequent conversations with dead people. This has been abused over the years by other shows, but it is used extremely sparingly this season.

As always, the show has the rare ability to combine the macabre with the light, a relationship drama and a coming-of-age story. It really juggles all of these different stories quite well, even though very few of the characters are that stable.

It's understandable after the tragedy he suffers, but Nate goes from being one of the most likable characters in the show to being a useless, blubbering mess. He contributes more later in the season but it's quite an adjustment. Rico also changes after he makes an unfortunate decision. We then are left with David, Claire and Ruth who have their instances of self-discovery and who become the collective soul of the show. Many of the characters find themselves in a state of flux whether in their careers or personal lives, if not both.

Special features include: editing the show, deleted scenes, audio commentary and an interview.

'Six Feet Under: The Complete Fourth Season' marks a period of transition and growth for the show. Thankfully, it remains entertaining while it establishes where it wants to take the characters for the next and final season.

Not Rated 720 minutes 2006

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